Amateur Franken40 Build

Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Got one of the quarters tacked to the top rail tonight. Started with cleaning up my cut edge, then trimming what was left of the rear door post thing and welding it up.

Before

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After

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I will be using a piece of square tube to replace the side post.

I then smoothed out the press brake lines on the radius of the quarter where I will be welding with a flap disc and started at the back with 3/16 sticking past where it should be, and started tacking. I adjusted the quarter with a c clamp before each weld, especially at the radius. There ended up being less than 3/16 overhang at the b pillar end like I expected, but that's how it turned out. I'm happy with how well it ended up fitting. Although I'm still figuring out how to set the welder to make good tacks to the thinner top rails. Might try get the other one done tomorrow.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Both quarters tacked up, bolted one to hard top to check fitment. Both are slightly concave, will probably be able to spread them out once mounted.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Trimmed off quarter overhang. Here's the plan for the vertical posts. Got some 1 3/4 11 ga square tube, thinking of cutting the corner off, inverting it and rewelding to mimic the step for the door seal.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Topper went back on, bolted quarters up to check fitment. Will need some manipulation to get everything lined up, but doable. Quarters will need to come off again to weld up the inside, then I'll get started on the sill.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Got the sill mostly made. It is made from 2x3" 3/16 wall rectangular tube. Started by cutting to length, cutting the vertical lines where the quarters will butt up to, then trimming 3/16 off the face so it will sit flush. I then made a template of the radius of the quarter and trimmed the ends. Turned out pretty good, will need to decide what kind of bolts to mount with. Probably countersunk bolts, or maybe bed bolts from a tundra.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Got the quarters welded up to the b pillars after spending some time fussing with them to get everything aligned to where I was happy. Doors also went on to confirm proper door opening spacing and fitment.

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Finally starting to look like a cruiser again.

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Also made the bushings that will act as the body mounts for the rear sill. Took some 1/4" uhmw, cut a circle with a hole saw, and then got to try out my new chamfer table/holder from Swag off road to make a nice beveled edge. Will be nice to use on the shackles among other parts. I'll be honest, it was a bit of an impulse buy...

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Will drill out the center hole for bolt once I figure out what I'll be using. Tubing I have laying around that I could use to sleeve hole will fit an m10 bolt perfect so may go with an m10 countersunk. Will also need to weld on some plate to the bottom of the sill to get proper bumper-sill gap. I have read it can be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch gap, and playing with the rusty sill I have looked to be about 3/8. So I'll either weld on a piece of 3/16 or 1/4 to the sill where the mount will be to get the spacing correct.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Got the mount holes drilled and sleeved on the sill, holes drilled in the cross member and bolted up. Probably spent an hour and measured 1000 times to make sure it was as perfectly centered as I could get, and then used the sleeved holes as a guide for the drill bit. Turned out as good as I could have hoped, sill fits flush with the bumper/cross member. Decided adding steel to make up extra gap between sill and bumper wouldn't look good and would be a hassle, going to order some 1/2" uhmw and make new bushings for the sill. I've got another spot I could use the 1/4" ones I made. Will be welding up the quarters soon then on to the middle cross member and framing the wheel wells.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Took all day, but got the middle cross member made up and body mounts tacked on. Might get them burned in tomorrow. Sill is also welded to quarters now.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Not as much progress this week, but some. Been contemplating how to deal with the A-Pillar rot. I really wanted to avoid cutting the door frame off and removing the cowl, but I've come to the conclusion there's just no way to properly remove all the rust and repair without doing it. So it's coming off.

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Need to extract some stripped bolts from the windshield frame and hood hinges, then it's coming off tomorrow.

I guess one nice thing about having a rotted windshield frame is it's easier to spray the inside with pb blaster...

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Also cut up the pieces for the rockers. 3.5" 11ga square tube, cut in half and angle for where it will meet the fender cut. Will be plating the inside later to box it in. The 2x6 sliders/side steps will butt up to the bottoms of these.

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Lastly, tore the winch out of my old 4Runner since so one seems to want to buy it. Will save me from having to buy a winch for this build.

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EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
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Location
Menifee, CA
This is some extremely impressive work. Love the attack and attitude, I know what it's like building a truck with less than ideal working conditions, though I didn't do any "real" body panel replacement like you are. I did do a box tube sill replacement similar to yours though. I would suggest drilling a larger hole through the top of your tube sill and using just the bottom portion for the through bolting securement. You'll cuss those heads of the bolts if you don't!

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
This is some extremely impressive work. Love the attack and attitude, I know what it's like building a truck with less than ideal working conditions, though I didn't do any "real" body panel replacement like you are. I did do a box tube sill replacement similar to yours though. I would suggest drilling a larger hole through the top of your tube sill and using just the bottom portion for the through bolting securement. You'll cuss those heads of the bolts if you don't!

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Thanks, I thought about doing it like that but decided I would prefer to seal off the inside of the sill completely. I will be adding a strip of 1/4" across the top to mimic the step on the factory sill for the door seals, and then I will countersink the holes and use countersunk bolts so they sit flush once I get to that point. Those are just regular bolts holding it in place for now.
 

EWheeler

4 Cruisers, No Garage !
GOLD Star
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
2,032
Location
Menifee, CA
Thanks, I thought about doing it like that but decided I would prefer to seal off the inside of the sill completely. I will be adding a strip of 1/4" across the top to mimic the step on the factory sill for the door seals, and then I will countersink the holes and use countersunk bolts so they sit flush once I get to that point. Those are just regular bolts holding it in place for now.
Sounds like a solid plan. Thanks for sharing your build with us.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Kick vent panels are out, what a PITA. Couldn't find any info on removing these, I would suggest using a die grinder and carbide Burr for all of the hard to reach spot welds. Second one was much easier doing this rather than trying to get a drill bit on at an angle. Plus, sometimes they spot welded the edge and a drill bit will wander off anyways.

Yet another thing I didn't originally want to do, but I'll feel better having cleaned up this rust sandwich.

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Joined
Mar 4, 2020
Messages
44
Location
Rockford, MN
Took a little break from the build last weekend for some much needed rock therapy up north.

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Attacked the A-Pillars. Cut out all the bad metal and managed to keep the welded nuts which will make putting the cowl back on a little easier. Used a piece of plexiglass from a beat up face shield to make a template, traced onto some 16 ga, cut, and bent up in the vise brake. First time using it, I think it turned out great. Other side didn't need as big of a patch.

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